Study Guide

The Orange Houses Chapter 13

By Paul Griffin

Chapter 13

FATIMA

  • At the Vet hospital, nineteen days before the hanging, Fatima's class is getting popular. At first there were only two people, but pretty soon, ten chairs are full, and the number keeps going up.
  • After her class, Fatima rushes over to the school to walk Mik home. Mik's nervous they might run in to Shanelle—even though she was suspended from school for threatening Mik, she still might hang around.
  • Mik tells Fatima she's lucky she doesn't have to go to school, but Fatima wants to learn more, and she's even been dumpster diving for books over by the college.
  • It's the same story with apples. They see some as they walk, and Mik thinks they are not that great. To Fatima, though, apples are like a dream. They don't get apples where she's from, and in New York they have a bunch of different kinds.
  • They stop to eat a snack and Fatima asks Mik to teach her sign language. Mik's not so sure at first, but Fatima explains that she wants to teach the kids in her country.
  • The girls chat about the color of the plants, the Statue of Liberty (which neither of them have ever been to), and a bunch of little things before arriving to the topic of the surgery.
  • Mik's not sure she wants it and Fatima tells her that she has to decide for herself.
  • She tells Mik the story about how her mom died: They were walking home with her younger sister when they heard some men coming their way; figuring they wouldn't make it back to the camp, their mom told them to run.
  • The only problem was that their mom ran the other way so the men would chase her instead. That's the last time she saw her.
  • Mik thinks the story is really sad, but Fatima tells her it's okay—her mom is in the sky now, watching down on her. Then she signs to the sky: Hello, Good-bye, I love you